40% of U.S. Business Aircraft Fleet Won't Meet ADS-B Out Deadline

Dec 4, 2017 - 4:45 PM

Forty percent of the U.S. business airplane fleet will not meet the Jan. 1, 2020 deadline for ADS-B Out, Duncan Aviation president Aaron Hilkeman said last week at the Corporate Jet Investor Miami conference. To achieve 100 percent compliance within the next 25 months, the current ADS-B installation rate of 1,758 per month for U.S.-based piston and turbine airplanes and helicopters would have to nearly double to 3,390 per month, which Hilkeman said is impossible.

“Looking to install ADS-B next year is too late,” he warned, noting that ADS-B work is competing for shop capacity with other avionics retrofits, including heavy demand for datacom installations.

To date, 5,225, or 37 percent, of the 14,001 U.S.-based business jets are equipped with ADS-B Out. At the current equipage rate of 212 per month, that means 3,476 jets—nearly a quarter of the U.S. fleet—will effectively be grounded in early 2020 due to non-compliance. This picture is worse for business turboprops—only 21 percent, or 2,513, of the 12,188 in the U.S. now have ADS-B; at the current equipage rate of 101 per month for turboprops, more than half of this fleet—7,150—will fail to meet the deadline, according to data presented by Hilkeman.

Aeronautical Systems managing director Joseph Zulueta said today's rate of return on investment for ADS-B retrofits is about 50 percent, upon resale. “This will trend down to zero as we approach 2020. After January 1, 2010, pre-owned aircraft without ADS-B are unlikely to sell, and having it will bring no extra value otherwise.”